Pre-Registry Reconnaissance


1. First stop: Gracious Home. The home accessories look more expensive than they are: The Retro Kitchen Wall Clock with a built-in timer for cooking ($24.99) and Marie Pi hampers ($195) look like they belong in a downtown design boutique. 1220 Third Ave., at 70th St.

Photo: Courtsey of Asprey

2. Next visit the new Asprey store. Ask to see the collection of home games—backgammon, chess, oversize dominos (from $1,750). Much friendlier in price range are the sterling-silver and crystal-horn salad servers (from $220) or pieces from their Matchstriker Blue china (from $65). 853 Madison Ave., nr. 70th St.

Photo: Courtsey of Frette

3. Walk a few blocks south to Frette. Your friends may balk at the high-priced sheets, but the gorgeous bathrobes ($550 each) or terry bath towels (from $55) are a bit more affordable. 799 Madison Ave., at 68th St.

4. Take a quick detour to William Wayne & Co. , where you can pick up fussy home décor, if that’s your taste—like the white bird tureen and stand reproduced from original Arts Decoratifs pieces in the Louvre (from $250) or a pair of porcelain garden seats with which to flank your mantel at home should you be lucky enough to have one ($525 each). 850 Lexington Ave., nr. 64th St.

5. Back on Madison, the sterling Blossom pattern cutlery at Georg Jensen is amazing, but at $4,125 a place setting, you might do better by asking for the Jean Nouvel pattern ($114 for one five-piece setting). 685 Madison Ave., at 62nd St.

Photo: Courtsey of Christofle

6. Nearby, Christofle’s Vertigo collection features Pyrex baking dishes cradled in silver-plate stands—beautiful and practical (from $370). For something less contemporary, ask for their silver tea services (from $210). 680 Madison Ave., at 62nd St.

Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

7. At Barneys New York, go to the ninth floor for one-of-a-kind finds like Aletha Soulé stoneware crockery (from $11). 660 Madison Ave., at 61st St.

Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

8. Next door, at Calvin Klein, check out the skinny stainless-steel flatware (from $70) and tall wood and ceramic vases (from $300) only available here. 654 Madison Ave., at 60th St.

Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

9. At lunchtime, go to the Nicole Farhi store, known for its ceramics and mouth-blown glassware, including the Tunisian punched collection (from $40). Stop in to Nicole’s for a healthy, Cali-style lunch that won’t ruin your pre-wedding diet. 10 E. 60th St., at Fifth Ave.

Photo: Courtsey of Crate & Barrel

10. Refueled, you’re ready for Crate & Barrel. Look for pricier statement pieces elsewhere and concentrate on the practical here: Staxx stoneware coffee mugs designed to occupy less space inside cabinets ($4.95 each), as well as Acacia wood trays (from $29.95), handblown cheese domes ($32.95) and microwave-safe tajines ($29.95) ideal for a mellow housewarming party. 650 Madison Ave., at 60th St.

Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

11. Stop in the 3,000-square-foot porcelain emporium that is Bernardaud. Consider one of their many patterns, like the traditional Grand Versailles (from $415 per setting) to the clean Digital (from $90 per setting). 499 Park Ave., at 59th St.

Photo: Courtsey of Williams-Sonoma

12. Take some time in Williams-Sonoma, one block east. Feel yourself acquiescing to KitchenAid Mixer bridal peer pressure ($299.95). 121 E. 59th St., at Lexington Ave.

13. The convenient one-stop-shop that is Bloomingdale’s has everything you need on the sixth floor, from All-Clad stainless-steel tea kettles ($99.99) to Wusthof knives ($299 for the classic eight-piece block set). 1000 Third Ave., at 59th St.


Photo: Courtsey of T. Anthony

14. Make T. Anthony your next stop. For weekend jaunts to the Hamptons consider the relatively affordable canvas-and-leather Concorde duffel ($395); the more-expensive sets can wait for your first anniversary. 445 Park Ave., at 56th St.

Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

15. Next go to the seventh floor at Bergdorf Goodman. Asking for the entire Assouline book collection ($600) is a dream, but registering for an assortment of Leontine linens (from $5) is realistic. 754 Fifth Ave., at 57th St.

16. Walk across the street to Tiffany & Co. The Federal patterned china is an heirloom in the making (from $300 for one five-piece setting). 727 Fifth Ave., at 57th St.

17. At Takashimaya New York, go to the third floor, where the superthin ceramic pieces by Christiane Perrochon sing like crystal (from $95). 693 Fifth Ave., at 54th St.

18. Stop into Saks Fifth Avenue for Oscar de la Renta trays (from $150) and frames (from $70) or even a Bose SoundDock Digital Music System for your iPod ($299). 611 Fifth Ave., at 49th St.

Photo: Courtsey of Michael C. Fina

19. Last stop: The basement at Michael C. Fina. Peruse china patterns by Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Versace, and more. 545 Fifth Ave., at 45th St.


1. Kick off Day 2 at The Home Depot. The DeWalt compact Drill kit ($209) and Black & Decker toolbox set ($29.97) are good choices, as are the flat-screens ($449 for a 26-inch Toshiba) and Weber grills ($299). 40 W. 23rd St., nr. Sixth Ave.

2. Restoration Hardware is a new homeowner’s haven. The Damask wallpaper (from $45) is beautiful; just as romantic are the bronze hooks ($20 each) and matching Library Swing-Arm wall sconces ($149 each). Or upgrade with a European goose-down-topped feather bed instead ($199 for a queen). 935 Broadway, at 22nd St.

Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

3. At Fishs Eddy, scout your everyday cereal bowl and coffee mug. The primary-colored monochromatic Pantone palette plates are your best bet (from $12). 889 Broadway, at 19th St.

4. Through ABC Carpet & Home’s gift-certificate program, your entire wedding party can chip in on a single big-ticket item (like a $2,250 chandelier). If putting a four-digit item on your list is out of the question, there are less-pricey options. 881 and 888 Broadway, at 19th St.

5. Cross the street to Paragon Sports to find Nikon Monarch ATB Binoculars, ideal for both a safari honeymoon and spying on your neighbors. Or his-and-hers North Face sleeping bags ($238.95) if you flee the city on weekends. 867 Broadway, at 18th St.

6. Around the block, at Tarallucci e Vino , order wine with your lunch—you’ll need it to brave the hordes at the next store. 15 E. 18th St., nr. Broadway.

7. At Bed Bath & Beyond, make a beeline for the Miele Antares vacuums ($479). Pricey but worth it. 620 Sixth Ave., at 18th St.


Photo: Davies + Starr for New York magazine

8. Take the F train (at 14th Street and Sixth Avenue) to West 4th Street, then the C to Spring Street, and go to Global Table to find décor from all over the world. The antler candlesticks in aluminum appeal to high-design taste on a mass-market budget ($50), as do the multicolor Dutch etched-glass tumblers ($70 for six). 107 Sullivan St., nr. Spring St.

9. At Clio, you’ll get more arty glass and ceramics, and you won’t find their rehabilitated dinnerware anywhere else (from $65). 92 Thompson St., nr. Spring St.

Photo: Courtesy of Moss

10. The hunt’s not complete until you’ve reached Moss. Though a chandelier can go for $24,000 here, you’ll also find conversation pieces that won’t make your guests shudder. The Tord Boontje charger plates are only $70, and the blown Murano glass night bottle is $195. 150 Greene St., nr. Houston St.

Photo: Courtsey of Jonathan Adler

11. Go to the Jonathan Adler store, where you can customize a rug for $25 a square foot. The Claridge table-lamp collection, with its crystal base and black dupioni silk shade, is not as cheeky as his other stuff (from $350). 47 Greene St., at Broome St.

12. Stop by Sur La Table to investigate specialty kitchen items like the Staub paella pan ($109.95), Titanium wok ($21.95), and Le Creuset fondue pot ($100). They also have cookbooks—from Alain Ducasse on how to make dessert ($195) to Martha Stewart’s comprehensive housekeeping book ($45). 75 Spring St., at Crosby St.

Photo: Courtsey of John Derian

13. And for the last hurrah, head to John Derian Company, where the registry is old-school—a notebook behind the counter. Select a one-of-a-kind découpage plate created by Derian himself ($66 to $950); his woodcock set is a witty take on an Audubon classic. They’ll look perfect in your new home. 6 E. 2nd St., nr. Bowery.

Pre-Registry Reconnaissance